Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I Put a Spell on You

Carolyn Jones

He imagines there is a signifier; a kind of pattern that, when the we look at our possessions, gives them a familiarity that is unique to us; a secret password that makes these objects as familiar to us as our feet.
This signifier is a feeling he first experience in his forties: one day when leaving the house he’d glanced back at the car in the driveway (a rather mundane Rover 214, ubiquitous in its day) and had been bathed in the feeling that he was deeply connected to the car; not as a car specifically, but that the shape of its rear end beside the house was more than just any old car next to any old house; it was a pattern; it had meaning.
Perhaps the fact that he had just partaken on a couple of quick puffs on a joint were a factor in the experience, perhaps this had made him sensitive enough to the idea without imparting meaning to the concept; sensitive enough to experience it but not to make sense of it in any way that he could understand.
He experienced this feeling several times during those years, always when high, always when looking at the car; a feeling of déjà vu-type strength and strangeness but not déjà vu.
He knew that this was not déjà vu because as a young teen, on his way to school up the side of the playing fields at Lieutenant King Park, he had in fact experienced real déjà vu – solid as a wall, humming in his ears and almost blacking out – the nausea that followed embedded the experience in his mind so strongly that for weeks afterwards it had returned whenever he remembered the incident.
No, not déjà vu, but some other vu, some vu that had a mind attached to it: his own mind; his own world.
Coincidently, this feeling arrived at around the same time as his urge to create had turned to writing. He attempted to incorporate the feeling into a story, his first attempt at such a thing but the result served neither to satisfactorily explain the signifier nor to produce a well written story.
After some years, and several changes in circumstance, he no longer received the signifier from the view of the car, nor from his feet for that matter, but he never forgot it.
Now, in his fifties, an explanation pops into his mind unbidden, unencouraged by any recent thought on the matter:
Our perception of the world is, on the simplest level, coloured by ownership, or by the act of possession, and perhaps, he thinks, we are more possessed by our things than they are possessed by us.


Harnett-Hargrove said...

The simple anti-zen of it all. And the zen of it all.
Because of course, you can't have one with out the other.

Garth said...

Zen or not, this is a true story :)